Data shows average student loan balance for Louisiana residents is close to $ 34,000

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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (WAFB) – Many people across Louisiana breathe a small sigh of relief after President Biden extended the hiatus for student loan repayments until May 1.

Take the example of Cinnamon Player. She graduated from Northwestern State University in the fall of 2019.

“I checked it once a month, every now and then to see if it has increased, has it not increased,” said Player, a resident of Baton Rouge.

Even with TOPS, she still owes over $ 17,000 in student loans.

She is one of the millions of university graduates who benefit from a small extension to pay them.

“It gives me more time to pull myself together for when it starts again,” Player said.

“Baton Rouge actually has a slightly higher student loan balance than the national student debt average,” said Amanda Push, writer for LendingTree & Student Loan Hero.

Student Loan Hero is a company that works with people to manage their student loan debt, and they’ve researched this topic.

Here are some stats from LendingTree’s student loan site, Student Loan Hero.

According to a study by Student Loan Hero in Louisiana, the average federal and private student loan balance is $ 33,823, which is 8% lower than the US average of $ 36,689. This places Louisiana 18th in the country in terms of highest student debt. Just over 7% of these borrowers owe $ 100,000 or more in student loans. In Louisiana, borrowers 25 and under tend to have much lower student loan balances, with federal debt averaging $ 14,993 and private debt at $ 14,013.

– According to data from Student Loan Hero, in Baton Rouge, the average student loan balance is even higher than the state’s average balance. Baton Rouge’s average student loan balance is $ 40,305. In East Baton Rouge Parish, the average student loan balance is $ 36,989 and the average monthly payment is $ 276.

“So this 90-day extension really gives borrowers more time to save and plan for lifting the moratorium,” Push said.

But advocates like Davante Lewis of the Louisiana Budget Project are pushing for more.

“If we really want our economy to prosper, then the way to do that is to write off student debt,” said Lewis, director of public affairs and our team for the Louisiana Budget Project.

Lewis says President Joe Biden has the executive authority to do this.

And in doing so, it would boost the economy even more.

“Almost 7% of all people who owe a student loan and are in debt in the state of Louisiana are 60 and over. So it is not just about young people between 18 and 24 years old, it has an impact on many parents and grandparents who, as the cost of university studies increased, contracted debts for their children ”, a Lewis said.

People like Player know that they will probably have to pay off these loans at some point.

But she’s just happy for a little break.

“It’s good to know that I still have a little more time to prepare for this,” Player said.

About 41 million borrowers will benefit from the break on student loan repayments.

These payments are expected to resume next May.

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